Trout Lake – Blue Lake
23.6 miles. 3771ft up. 2980ft down.
It was hot in our little bunk room last night. There was the opportunity to have a shower here, or at least a wash in a bath tub but I passed on that. It’s only been 4 days. No need for one yet. I’m regretting that a bit though, I was sleeping in my hiker clothes and I got really sweaty last night. Gross.
We went to get breakfast at 7am. We had to jump the river again. I made some poor decisions. I got sucked in by the French toast. It came with two eggs and bacon. An odd combination but I went with it. First thing that went wrong – no bacon. So they gave me sausages instead. I prefer bacon. I found a gristly bit in the sausage on the first bite so that was it for me on the sausages.
I turned my attention to the French toast (bread dipped in egg) which was then served with more egg. Weird. The French toast was topped with butter and icing sugar. Weird. And it was soggy in the middle. I like my French toast with red sauce (not covered in syrup), but the red sauce, butter, sugar combo was not a winner. I shovelled it in and made a mental note that I still don’t like American breakfast. I did have a delicious glass of orange juice though. How I love orange juice.
Back at the store there was just enough time for one last chocolate milk and Doug arrived to give us a ride. Greybeard, Drake and I had arranged the ride and there were a lot of other people trying to get in on the action. Doug managed to fit in the nobo girl, Arvo and two Israeli guys who got in late last night. I though I was smelly. Those Israeli guys were something else!
Heading south there is a bear bin with some trail magic in. Beers, carrots, some other random stuff. Good for nobos just coming in but we were all stocked up so didn’t need anything.
Drake and I began walking. I struggled for the first 5 or so miles. My calves were so tight they were painful. And I was too full and the bite of sausage was repeating on me. I also had to stop to wee about 5 times.
I came across Pegs sat on a bridge carving a design into a bit of wood he was going to use as a trekking pole. I met him really briefly in Trout Lake yesterday, he is doing around 10 miles a day. Leisurely.
I left him behind and in another 5 miles caught up with Drake, who had found Strings. I said to them ‘did you see the guy on the bridge sawing his wood’. Which sounded like an awful euphemism. It was our last water for 10 miles so I chugged half a litre and carried half a litre. It is super hot today but there are no big climbs.
Running Red had caught us up at the water and I knew he was going to overtake me any moment, desperate for a wee I was convinced as soon as I went he was going to come up behind me, luckily I was able to go with a minute to spare before he blew past me. There were loads of tiny frogs bouncing around on the trail today, the tiny ones don’t scare me. Unfortunately today also saw the return of the bastard biting fly and the mosquito.
Scenery wise we were basically in a green tunnel all day. We popped out of the trees for about .2 of a mile where I met Stringbean. He is heading south. I imagine he is really speedy with those long legs. His trekking poles are like twice the height of mine!
Then I ran into this guy from the Czech Republic, he asked me if I was from Australia. I asked him when he started the trail and he got all defensive and didn’t want to talk about it. Something about this guy seemed really familiar but I couldn’t place him. He told me he started at Mexico on June 1st and was doing consistent 30 mile days. He didn’t like discussing his start date, more so with men, because they get really competitive. He told me he did the trail last year in 91 days. Wait a minute. You were on the trail last year?! He asked my name and he shouts PUFF PUFF, I know you! It was Shiggy. We met last year and he remembered all the details of where we were (on a picnic bench), who we were with (Ladies Man and Growler) and what we ate (trail magic and Canadian candies). Shiggy is a nice man. I didn’t recognise him because he was thinner with a darker beard last year. But he looks good for the extra weight this year. We couldn’t stay talking for long because the flies were all over us.
I met Drake and Strings at Bear lake and we only had 3 more miles to Blue lake and the end of the day. When we got there it said designated camping spots only so we followed the camp sign and went up the hill to an established camp spot which had a bunch of tents already set up. We were told by, presumably the leader of the group that we couldn’t camp with them. It was their camp site. Erm. You do not own the wilderness Mr and I think you’ll find we can also camp here. But he said no, we couldn’t camp with them because they had minors with them. He tried to tell us that camping etiquette is; if there is already someone in camp you camp elsewhere. Fair enough when there is somewhere else to camp. But my rules of etiquette are obviously very different to his, which is what I told him. And if people are looking for a place to camp you welcome them, make room and chat to them to find out who they are and what they are doing. Not this guy. In over 3000 miles of hiking this is only the second asshole I have met (the first being the man from last year who said his dog wouldn’t like it if I camped with them). He really wasn’t providing the kids in his care with a great example of how to treat other people. And we later found out there were a church group!
Anyway, I didn’t want to be anywhere near this guy so we went to look for somewhere else. We wondered around for ages and we eventually found somewhere we could squeeze our three tents in.
There were a lot of bugs about but I braved the outside so we could be social and eat together. A luxury meal of spaghetti bolognaise, cheese and Fritos.
In my tent there were zillions of bugs buzzing about between my net and fly. Grim.
I’m walking thousands of miles for Just A Drop because everyone should have access to clean water. Donate here.